In an era of growing income disparities, it’s intriguing to examine the relationship between financial reward and societal value. Some professions, despite their substantial earnings, seem to have a surprisingly limited impact on societal progress.
Marketing Manager Woes
“As a marketing manager, I can tell you I have one of the most useless jobs in the world.”
Marketing Managers usually get a decent salary. They create strategies to sell products and services. Sometimes, they might feel like their work isn’t contributing to the world.
Data Collection and High-Speed Trading Experts
“Some of the best-paid people are figuring out how to collect as much data about you as possible to show you the best adverts. Or how to shave off milliseconds off a trading decision and build better arbitrage strategies to buy and sell the same thing millions of times.”
These jobs may seem important for businesses but don’t add much to the progress of society. They’re all about making more money but not necessarily making things better for people.
Luxury Real Estate Agents
“My sister makes a lot of money in real estate. She helps rich people get even richer.”
Helping people find their dream homes sounds like a great job. But when those people are already super rich, it might feel like you’re just helping the rich get richer instead of helping everyone have a better life.
IT Middle Management
“IT middle management. I always thought they did nothing, but then I was promoted to one, and now I can actually confirm it. Do nothing, contribute nothing. Worthless.”
Sometimes, it can feel like there are too many managers and not enough workers. This is especially true in fields like IT, where the people doing the actual work might not see the point of having so many bosses.
“Hospital administration. Hospitals are important and are complicated systems that need proper management. Still, any doctor, nurse, etc., can tell you that hospital admins aren’t exactly looking out for your health and safety.”
Running a hospital is a big job. But sometimes, the people in charge seem more focused on paperwork and profits than patient care. This makes people feel like these jobs aren’t helping society get better.
Social Media Influencers
“Influencers contribute negatively if that counts.”
Some influencers do a great job of spreading positive messages and promoting good causes. But others might contribute little to society’s progress, especially if their content is about showing off their wealth or promoting products for money.
Political Strategy Advisors
“I’m a political strategy advisor, which is code for opposition researcher. I work for a federal government party in my country. I research for gossip or dirt on our political opponents and feed stories to the media to disparage them and have us win elections. All I do is make people more disenchanted with politics.”
Politics is a tough business, and it can sometimes seem like it’s all about winning rather than making things better for everyone. That’s why some political jobs feel like they’re not contributing to society’s progress.
Admissions Counselors for Unaccredited Schools
“Admissions Counselor for unaccredited schools.”
Helping students find the right school is a great job. But when those schools aren’t accredited, it might feel like you need to be helping students get a quality education.
“Administrators who spend a lot of time inside an office in calls or meetings but have little to do with the hands-on work that advances stuff.”
Every office needs administrators to keep things running smoothly. But sometimes, these people aren’t contributing to the real work being done.
Owners of Large Corporations
“During the pandemic, didn’t you notice that the “essential workers” were often paid minimum wage? Seems like the important jobs that keep everything running are not being paid much at all, most of the time. All the value of their labor is being sucked out of them by the wealthy moochers who just happen to own the company but never do any work.”
It’s hard to see how someone can make a lot of money without work. That’s why some people feel like large company owners aren’t contributing to society’s progress.
“Megachurch preachers are evil as heck.”
Religion can be a great source of comfort and community for many people. But when a preacher makes a lot of money from their congregation, it might feel like they’re not helping to improve society.
Wall Street Traders and Hedge Fund Managers
“Wall Street traders and hedge fund managers.”
These jobs can make a lot of money, but they’re all about making more money, not improving the world. That’s why some people feel these jobs don’t contribute to society’s progress.
Opinion Columnist, Celebrity Pundit, and Morning TV Host
“Opinion columnist, celebrity pundit, and morning TV host.”
Everyone has a right to their opinion, and it can be interesting to hear different viewpoints. But when these opinions are just for entertainment and don’t contribute to the betterment of society, these jobs aren’t helping.
Middle Management in Production
“Many middle management are non-jobs leeching off the value created at delivery or ops. I have managers above me whose salaries come from the value I produce (I work with clients to make the thing they are paying for). The middle manager just asks me what to do. His role consists of pricing up work using my estimates into an Excel spreadsheet and creating PowerPoints based on what I say should go in them. Then we have a call with the client where he says all the things he and I have talked about ahead of the call, and he writes an email summarising it afterward. I feel I did most of the work and could’ve easily authored the email and PowerPoint too. Yet he is paid a fair bit more than I am. Because I work in production, I feel my work’s generated value is supporting many people like him. It does irk me.”
Middle managers in production often handle client communication and make crucial decisions. However, the people who do the actual work might feel that these managers are leeching off their hard work.
“90% of politicians. At least right now, with most of the bad decisions they make.”
While politicians have the power to create meaningful change in society, some of them seem to be more focused on their own gain rather than the betterment of the community. This can make people lose trust in them and their ability to contribute positively to society.
Pharmaceutical Sales Reps
“Pharmaceutical sales reps.”
Pharmaceutical sales representatives play an essential role in connecting healthcare providers with the latest treatments. However, their main goal is to sell drugs for their company, which can sometimes overshadow healthcare’s primary goal: helping people get better.
“Superintendent, not that I don’t value public education, it’s just that every superintendent I’ve met has been a 2-bit huckster who doesn’t seem to do any real work.”
Superintendents are supposed to oversee school districts and ensure the quality of education. However, some people believe they don’t do much work and are merely figureheads.
“Pastors. I audit, so don’t say it’s not true.”
Just like megachurch preachers, pastors should guide their congregations and provide spiritual leadership. However, some people feel that they don’t contribute significantly to the betterment of society.
“I think Lobbyists make society worse.”
Lobbyists are supposed to help lawmakers make informed decisions about complex issues. However, their role often involves pushing the interests of the groups they represent, which may not always align with what’s best for society.
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